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New drug proposed by NICE to fight diabetes

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A new drug may soon be handed out by nurses as a treatment for patients with the type 2 version of the condition, following draft guidance from the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence.

The health and social care guidance body is recommending canagliflozin as a treatment option for some people with the condition.

The endorsement came in draft guidance published for consultation on 24 February.

NICE is presently appraising canagliflozin (Invokana) when used together with other anti-diabetic drugs, such as insulin, for the treatment of type 2 diabetes.

Canagliflozin is a daily oral medication belonging to a new breed of drug called sodium glucose co-transporter (SGLT-2) inhibitors. It functions by preventing the reabsorption of glucose in the kidneys which is instead passed out of the body through urine.

Professor Carole Longson, director of the NICE Centre for Health Technology Evaluation, said: “Canagliflozin represents a useful addition to the armoury of anti-diabetic drugs available to clinicians.”

Professor Carole Longson

Professor Carole Longson

She said that type 2 diabetes can be hard to treat and most people will eventually need various drugs, normally used simultaneously.

Professor Longson added: “NICE is therefore pleased to be able to recommend its use for some people with type 2 diabetes.”

She is urging everyone with an interest in type 2 diabetes to comment on the draft guidance now out for consultation through the NICE website.

Consultees, such as the drug’s manufacturer Janssen-Cilag, healthcare professionals and members of the public are being invited to comment on the preliminary recommendations, which are out to public consultation until 17 March.

Observations received during this consultation will be thoroughly considered by the committee.

The next draft guidance will be issued after the next committee meeting.

NHS organisations should make decisions locally on the financing of individual treatments until final guidance is issued to them.

Once NICE gives its final guidance on a technology, it replaces local recommendations throughout the country.


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